XFX GeForce 8800GT 256MB XXX Edition Video Card Review

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The 256MB GeForce 8800 GT’s Arrive!

There is no doubt about it – the GeForce 8800 GT might be the fastest selling card that NVIDIA has ever produced. The price versus performance ratio is ideal for the enthusiast community and the feature set is impressive.  The GeForce 8800 GT 512MB video card series fills the $199-$259 price points, but what about those that want to spend less and still have all the same features?  NVIDIA didn’t forget about you guys and has just recently released the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB video card that is aimed at the $179-$199 price points. The GeForce 8800 GT 512MB has been in such high demand the price has remained above $269.99, so the need for a more budget friendly card is a welcomed addition to the GeForce 8 lineup.  Basically, all NVIDIA did was reduce the amount of GDDR3 memory from 512MB to 256MB and that’s it.  Our friends over at XFX sent out their new XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition graphics card and it is identical on the outside compared to the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB. 

 

XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition Video Card

With the XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition and XFX GeForce 8800 GT 5126MB Alpha Dog graphics card sitting side by side, they are impossible to tell apart. The clock frequiences on the reference 256MB cards are 600MHz/1500MHz, but XFX overclocked their XXX edition up to 650MHz on the core and 1600MHz on the memory for even more performance.  The XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition that Legit Reviews is looking at today comes with the part number PV-T88P-UDD4. As you can see in the picture above, it also comes with the improved cooling solution that is on their most recent GeForce 8800 GT series cards. If you’d like to know more about the features of the GeForce 8800 GT be sure to read our previous articles about it!

GeForce 8800 GT Coverage:

 

XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition Video Card

With the cooler removed from both XFX GeForce 8800 GT video cards, it was still impossible to tell which card was which as every capacitor and component looked to be the same.  Many figured that the GeForce 8800 GT would just have half the number of memory ICs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here as both cards have eight ICs. Click on the picture above to see a larger version and see if you can figure it out.  The only difference between the two cards that can be visually seen is the white sticker on the above right card.

XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition Video Card

Looks like someone forgot to remove the sticker covering the speaker after the card was washed at the factory! Still doesn’t help figure out which card is which, but the one on the right is the 512MB version and the latest 256MB card is the one of the left.

XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition Video Card

The only difference between the cards is the memory ICs that are used on them.  The XFX GeForce 8800 GT 516MB graphics card that we reviewed last week has Qimonda memory ICs. The Qimonda HYB18H512321BF-10 memory ICs are 512-Mbit GDDR3 Graphics RAM that are designed to run at 1.0GHz according to their datasheet. Each IC therefore contains 64MB of memory and eight of them add up to the 512MB that is found on the XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512MB graphics card.

XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition Video Card

The XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition uses eight Hynix HY5RS573225B FP-14 memory ICs. These are also GDDR3, but they are 256-Mbit ICs that are rated to operate at 700MHz according to their datasheet. Each of the eight ICs are 32MB, which is how the XFX GeForce 8800 GT 256MB Alpha Dog XXX Edition gets its 256MB of on board memory from.

How will cutting the onboard graphics card memory in half impact performance?  It’s obviously going to play a roll at higher screen resolutions, but how much?  Read on to find out!

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